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AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange Wins 2019 Power of A Summit Award

The highest honor of the American Society of Association Executives recognizes organizations that benefit the United States and the world.


AGU has been awarded a Power of A Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). ASAE’s highest honor, the Summit Award is given to “associations that go above and beyond their everyday mission to undertake initiatives that benefit America and the world.” ASAE members represent 7,400 organizations of all types, making this recognition for AGU especially noteworthy. Only six associations were selected for this honor in 2019.

A Collaborative Relationship

AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange helps communities work with AGU member scientists to tackle local priorities related to resilience, sustainability, and environmental health.

Thriving Earth Exchange matches communities with vetted and trained member scientists who help communities design and carry out projects that advance community goals, solve local problems, or deal with the impacts of global issues such as climate change, disasters, hazards, and pollution. Now in 100 localities, Thriving Earth Exchange brings communities together with AGU member scientists to tackle priorities related to resilience, sustainability, and environmental health and, in the process, has affected the lives of over 17 million people.

“AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange is honored to have received a Power of A Summit Award from ASAE. This award is proof positive that scientific knowledge, combined with community knowledge, is a powerful way for ameliorating real-world problems in an inclusive and effective manner,” said AGU CEO/Executive Director Chris McEntee. “I am hopeful that this award will encourage more scientists to offer their skills to communities and more communities to reach out to scientists.”

Real People: Real Impact

Awardees were judged on three criteria:

  • Reach of Project or Program: Award-winning entries offer original or effective solutions to today’s societal or business problems.
  • Embodying the Power of Associations: Award-winning entries effectively showcase how associations strengthen society through volunteerism, education, social responsibility, innovation, research, and problem solving.
  • Objectives and Outcomes: Award-winning entries generate results that achieve the association’s defined and measurable objectives.

“Through AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange, communities and scientists work together to do science that makes a concrete local impact—reducing pollution, protecting people from natural hazards, and building a future in which everyone can thrive. This recognition is a testament to the power of cooperation and the value of connecting science and community knowledge, and most of all, it’s a well-deserved shout out to our scientific volunteers and the community leaders they work with,” said Thriving Earth Exchange director Raj Pandya. “Special thanks to the Thriving Earth Exchange team, our advisory board, AGU leadership, and the AGU Board and Council. We share this award with many collaborators, including Higher Ground, the International City/County Management Association, National League of Cities, ICLEI USA, ISeeChange, EPA’s College/Underserved Community Partnership Program, and Public Lab.”

Power of A Summit Award winners will be formally recognized at the 20th Anniversary Power of A-Summit Awards Dinner on 2 October at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

—Joshua Speiser ([email protected]), Manager of Strategic Communications, AGU

Citation: Speiser, J. (2019), AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange wins 2019 Power of A Summit Award, Eos, 100, Published on 10 July 2019.
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